CIA torture, new information


This video says about itself:

Here the rain never finishes: exclusive CIA torture report from the ACLU

13 October 2015

Survivors of Central Intelligence Agency torture are sueing the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. Salim, one of the three ex-detainees in the suit, is a Tanzanian fisherman who says that flashbacks from his ordeal in CIA custody are a permanent part of his life.

By Shelley Connor in the USA:

Declassified reports reveal torture techniques used by Bush-era CIA

21 January 2017

Newly disclosed documents from the CIA detail the “enhanced interrogation” techniques—torture—used on detainees at black sites throughout the world. The documents, 50 in all, include information that was not presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the CIA torture program in 2014.

This information has been released amid a pitched legal battle concerning the handling of the full 6,700 page document that was presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The documents were released as the result of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Freedom of Information Act suit against the CIA. The documents describe, in clinical, disinterested prose, a harrowing array of torture techniques used against suspects, from extreme humiliation to potentially deadly force.

The use of “mock burials,” in which detainees were forced into coffin-shaped boxes with hidden ventilation holes, the slamming of detainees repeatedly into walls, and the exposure of denuded detainees to extreme cold stand out as particularly inhumane practices. The documents include an investigation into the 2002 death of suspected Taliban militant Gul Rahman, who died of hypothermia at a black site north of Kabul, Afghanistan. At the time of his death, Rahman was clad in nothing but an adult diaper, and had been chained to a vent in his cell throughout a cold, November night.

Attorneys for two of the CIA’s victims, Abu Zubaydah and Abdul Rahim Al-Nashiri, are currently fighting for the preservation of the full report of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings, which doubtless contain even more gruesome details.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is adjudicating Zubaydah’s habeas corpus request, issued a memo demanding that the United States government “immediately” deposit a complete and un-redacted copy of the Senate report with the court by February 10. Last week, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Obama administration to hand a copy over to the court, as well, in the case of Al-Nashiri. The Obama administration resisted on both counts.

Excerpts from the reports reveal how prisoners were subjected to torture through “walling” and waterboarding. During walling, a towel rolled up and placed behind the prisoner’s neck was the only precaution taken to ensure that the victims did not sustain concussions or spinal injuries when yanked upright by their chains and slammed into walls by their interrogators. Zubaydah was rendered unconscious and suffered seizures as a result of this treatment; to this day, he still experiences blackouts, headaches and seizures.

After three consecutive days of waterboarding, walling, and mock burials, Zubaydah was given a day-long reprieve from the aggressive interrogations. He was given Ensure, a meal replacement drink, and was again released to his cell, where interrogators disrupted his sleep purposely throughout the night. The next morning, interrogators again hooded Zubaydah and inflicted their torments upon him anew. After telling interrogators that he had no new information to offer, he was slapped and forced into a dark, upright box with a container for his waste.

Even after Zubaydah “showed distress,” he was left in the box for four hours. He was removed from this box, was walled again for two hours, and was then shoved into what interrogators called “the small confinement box.” Here, he was forced into a modified fetal position, with his back curved downward and his legs drawn up.

“Subject remained in the small box for one hour and ten minutes. Subject sounded distressed and did not appear to adapt as well to his time in the small confinement box,” interrogators recounted. He was waterboarded and walled for several more hours after being removed from the box. “Subject has not provided any new threat or elaborated on any old threat information. Medical assessment is that subject remains stable and that his physiologic condition is close to normal given his present circumstances,” the report affirmed.

Zubaydah himself remembers those events in much more excruciating detail. He told his lawyers that he remembered “screaming unconsciously,” in pain because he was unable to stretch his legs, unbend his back, or stand upright. The documentation of his torture reveals that the small box was used to the maximum amount allowable by interrogators.

The reports substantiate claims by several detainees that interrogators drugged them with powerful pharmaceuticals without consent during interrogation—a practice regarded as unethical by medical professionals. For years, the CIA asserted that detainees were only “sedated” as a last resort, mainly as a safety measure.

However, the released documents reveal another practice entirely. In April of 2002, interrogators documented plans to transport Zubaydah “in a state of pharmaceutical unconsciousness … to maximize the intended effect of disorienting.”

These documents have been released at a critical juncture. Obama ascended to the presidency eight years ago amid hopes that he would end the opacity and latitude the intelligence apparatus had enjoyed under Bush. Yet during his last week in office, he worked feverishly to ensure that the full, damning report of state-sanctioned torture would remain safely sealed in the presidential archives, where they would be free from public viewing until 2028. In response to Judge Royce Lamberth’s order to remand a copy to the court, Obama administration lawyers argued that doing so would endanger executive-congressional cooperation and that the document enjoyed enough protection by being included in Obama’s archives.

This action is of a piece with the rest of Obama’s presidency, which began with him granting immunity to war criminals from the Bush and Cheney era. Obama’s lukewarm expressions of distaste for torture are not borne out by his policies, through which domestic spying, extrajudicial assassinations and legalized entrapment have become standard operating procedure.

While Al-Nashiri fights for his freedom—and his life, as the Obama administration has sought the death penalty—James Mitchell, a primary architect of many Bush-era torture regimens, remains free.

Another criminal who walks free, CIA director John Brennan, worked to intimidate members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He ordered CIA thugs to break into Senate staffers’ computers and delete information concerning the CIA’s torture program. He then brazenly claimed that those staffers should be prosecuted for possessing confidential information, and arrogantly stated that the CIA had a right to withhold information from the Senate Intelligence Committee, to which it is supposed to be answerable.

Obama doused the flames between Brennan and outraged members of the Senate committee by stating that no one would be prosecuted. This effectively granted Brennan immunity and provided a precedent for the cover-up of war crimes.

Meanwhile, whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and CIA analyst John Kiriakou were punished for the “crime” of revealing the sadistic nature of military and intelligence practices. Kiriakou, particularly, stands out as a symbol for the injustice of the Obama administration; while James Mitchell boasts openly to the press about waterboarding detainees, Kiriakou was prosecuted by the Obama Justice Department and sentenced to 30 months in prison for revealing the use of waterboarding to the American public.

Many Americans are rightly concerned about the dangers posed by recently inaugurated President Donald Trump. Attorneys for victims such as Zubaydah and al-Nashiri, among others, fear that Trump could, at the behest of Senate Republicans, destroy the full Senate torture report. Trump himself has expressed support for waterboarding and other techniques; “Torture works,” he has told reporters.

Women’s March Amsterdam, The Hague videos


Yet another video about the Women’s March against Donald Trump in Amsterdam, the Netherlands today.

This 21 January 2017 video is about the Women’s March in The Hague, the Netherlands; from the Malieveld to the United States embassy.

Live updates on marches around the world are here.

Women’s March against Trump, Amsterdam, video


This is another video reporting about the Women’s March against Donald Trump, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, today.

Women’s March in Amsterdam video


This 21 January 2017 video shows the Women’s March against Donald Trump in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

According to the makers of this video, right-wing daily De Telegraaf, there were 3000 demonstrators.

Women’s March in Amsterdam, thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators


Syrian, Dutch anti-Trump demonstrators, photo by Eva Hofman

This 21 January 2017 photo by Eva Hofman from the Museumplein square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands shows two of the thousands of participants of the Women’s March against Donald Trump (and his Dutch fan Geert Wilders) there.

From Amsterdam daily Het Parool today (translated) about this:

“Everyone is equal and welcome”

Merel Graeve (28) is protesting together with her Syrian boyfriend Hussain Haj Younes (25) against xenophobia. “I do not think there should be stronger borders. Everyone is equal and welcome, especially those who need security.”

Tessa (9, from the USA) and Laura (8, from Amsterdam) made a banner together. “Trump is an idiot,” says Laura. “And he says stupid things about women.” “And he wants to build a wall in the desert” adds Tessa.

Women’s March on Washington DC, USA, live stream


This 21 January 2017 video from the USA is called Women’s March on Washington: Full Rally | The New York Times.

Another video from the USA, no longer at YouTube, used to say about itself:

LIVE STREAM: January 21, 2017

One day after President Trump‘s swearing into office, demonstrators will converge in D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington.

The march is expected to draw thousands of participants, and it will be a progressive focus on issues like women’s equality, reproductive freedom, freedom from violence, and LGBT rights. The event is also likely to serve as a protest against Trump’s policies on these and other issues. “We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all,” the group says on their website. The rally will begin on 10:00 a.m. EST, and the march itself will begin at 1:15 p.m.

Women’s March against Trump today


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

18 January 2017

21 January: Women’s March in Amsterdam and The Hague.

Amsterdam: 12.00 PM (noon), Museumplein (in front of Rijksmuseum, at the Iamsterdam statue) | The Hague: 1PM, Malieveld.

This is a march for all, in support of the Women’s March on Washington and will be held on the same day in Amsterdam and The Hague. This is an INCLUSIVE march, and EVERYONE who supports equal rights and equal treatment for all is welcome.

THis video from the USA says about itself:

20 January 2017

Activists say why they are traveling from Grand Rapids to Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington.